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Maryland teen wins world's largest high school science competition

  • Intel-ISEF-2012_Opening-Ceremony.jpg

    May 15, 2012: Last night, the world's largest high school science research competition, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public, kicked off with a celebration of the 70 countries represented by the more than 1,500 9th - 12th graders who are competing this week for more than $3 million in awards.Intel

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    AP Photo/Franka Bruns

A Maryland student was awarded the top prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair on Friday for developing a urine and blood test that detects pancreatic cancer with 90 percent accuracy.

Jack Andraka, 15, claimed the $75,000 prize for his test, which is roughly 28 times cheaper and faster, and over 100 times more sensitive than current tests.

The teen from Crownsville, Md., received the Gordon E. Moore award at a ceremony to mark the conclusion of the week-long science fair in downtown Pittsburgh.

'This competition encourages millions of students to engage their skills for innovation.'

- Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation

The event, which is the world's largest high school science and research competition, involved more than 1,500 students from over 70 different countries.

Nicholas Schiefer, 17, of Pickering, Ontario, and Ari Dyckovsky, 18, of Leesburg, Va., were runners-up and each received an award of $50,000 for their entries.

Schiefer developed what he called "microsearch," which combs through small amounts of content, such as tweets or Facebook status updates, to improve the function of Internet search engines.

Dyckovsky investigated the science of quantum teleportation, and discovered that through a process of "entanglement" information from one atom will appear in another atom when the quantum state of the first is destroyed.

This discovery could help organizations like the National Security Administration send encrypted messages without running the risk of interception because the information would not travel to its new location, but simply appear there.

More than 400 competitors received scholarships and prizes for research presented at the competition.

"We support the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair because we know that math and science are imperative to future global growth," Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation said in a statement. "This competition encourages millions of students to engage their skills for innovation and develop promising solutions for global challenges."

The science fair was founded in 1950 by the non-profit Society for Science & the Public, and is now jointly funded by the Intel Foundation and Intel.